WSU: Student suspended for brandishing knife

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Wayne State University logo

A Wayne State University student has been suspended after pulling out a knife and told members of a student organization that "we should kill or deport all illegals who don't belong in our country."

The student's actions were captured on video and posted on Facebook. He told organizers with the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, that his name as Earl Johnson, according to the school's newspaper, The South End.

Local media has aired and shared the video, in which the man is shown snapping open a folding knife and wearing a Trump/Pence 2020 T-shirt. 

University President M. Roy Wilson said in a  statement Wednesday that the student is suspended pending a full investigation into the incident.

"Last night we became aware of an incident in which a Wayne State student and a number of individuals staffing a table in State Hall engaged in a dispute," Wilson said. "During a tense exchange, the student made some provocative remarks related to immigration and brandished a knife."

Wilson said the school will not tolerate such behavior.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment to building an inclusive campus community where intolerance — particularly when accompanied by physical threats — is not tolerated," he said. "While we encourage respectful dialogue and sometimes passionate debate about differing views and perspectives, there is no place for violence or threats of violence at Wayne State."

He also urged students to report any incidents like this one or any that endanger students to call the Wayne State Police Department at (313) 577-2222. In Tuesday's incident, no one called the police. he said.